Following the Money"Opinion"
I have watched the Romney campaign losing to Obama in every arena that they have chosen to contest him in and so far the only triumph that they can name is that they have raised more money than Obama. Even Democrats agree that is true. The reason is that Obama's campaign donations come mainly from grass-roots voters while Romney money comes from shadowy corporations and Billionaires and these are organizations that cannot vote. The source of the money does matter as we shall see.
I would argue that raising more money is a shallow pretext for being president of the United States and I would also argue that in this election, money in politics is having its peak effect right now as people are making up their minds and that late money spent is really wasted money.
Voters are not so dumb, they know that the Romney money is not grassroots money coming from citizens who vote but rather it is PAC money coming from those who would buy the nation on the cheap to control their private agendas and it is coming from organizations and corporations who are forbidden to vote by law; only real people can vote. At a time when Republicans are seeing a mirage of voter fraud under every tree the real voter fraud lies in campaign financing where shadow Billionaires are writing big checks to Republican PAC organizations in an attempt to buy our nation on the cheap. This is now working against Romney and not for him where voters are concerned.
Right this moment, about 94% of Americans have made up their minds on how they are going to vote. They have their reasons thought out and all of this money is now being spent to influence the last 6% of Independent voters who have trouble making up their mind.
The purpose of the Super PAC money is to influence the vote and the cost per voter for the last 6% is climbing to high figures. The law of diminishing returns is setting in and Democrats are not losing a lot of sleep over the Republican war chest as long as they can meet the minimum communications requirements. Democrats will get plenty of free publicity when the economy improves, when the jobs numbers rise, when Afghan troops start returning home, when other events break positive. Even negative news will translate into free publicity for Obama. These positive Obama news events will be covered free of charge and voters will not be hitting the MUTE button when they are aired.
From July Fourth until Labor Day, Americans are more interested in their vacation plans, baseball, golf scores, the coming football team line-up, and the Olympics; thus politics is ranked low on the summer totem pole of media events. People are still watching with interest the economy and the jobs reports and all signs are that Obama will be in an acceptable position on those matters by the time that the election arrives. All else is too nuanced to make any real difference.
Some voters will conclude that the time required to achieving really effective solutions on the economy and jobs will be less if Obama is elected then if Romney is elected for it will take Romney two years to develop his Cabinet and maneuver it to actually make a difference. Those first two years will be full of ineffective and symbolic lawmaking that doesn’t create jobs or move the economy forward. Obama is ready to go and his plans are already crafted as legislation. Obama just needs a Congressional lift to put his plans over the top and put them into immediate play. Within four months of the election a new Congress will be seated and the Obama Legislation will be in Party leaders hands to schedule hearing and votes on. Within six months the jobs and the economy will respond as a result.
Getting the Bush Tax Cuts removed will flood Congress with new tax money and their problem will be how to give money back to middle income taxpayers so that they can spend it and goose the economy. This is a nice problem to have as deficits close, military budgets shrink, and the national debt reduction is addressed. All of these issues have been blocked for resolution by Republicans and if Obama is given control of Congress they will go away. To those Republicans who object because Obama had control of Congress before and he didn’t do these things, we remind them that Obama was rather busy at the time trying to keep the economy from crashing into full scale depression.
Party Conventions will be treated as a side show by most voters. Democrats are not going to bother with the Republican Convention except to listen to former primary candidates make a fool of themselves once more from the podium. The big effort will be to build drama for a VP selection to run with Romney. This will be step one in a Republican get out the vote effort as they try to energize the Republican Party base.
Why do they need to energize the Republican base? Because Mitt Romney is the last choice of the Republican Party and the grassroots voters are not interested in him. He’s a “Ho-Hum” candidate. In a significant manner much of the money being spent by Republicans is directed at trying to assure that Republicans will come out to vote. Democrats do not have that problem.
Between Labor Day and the actual Election Day the interest of voters will shift to future plans and promises and the national election debates will meet that need and it comes free of charge courtesy of the broadcast networks. Various media outlets are beside themselves with determination to cover those debates thoroughly and sell lots of dog food as a result.
So at this point, late money spent in campaigning is largely wasted money. There is a law of diminishing returns in play. The Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, and all of the Super PAC money controlled by Republicans is being wasted on the Romney Campaign. The Media itself knows that a saturation of campaign ads will cause viewership and readership ratings to drop like a rock.
Voters know these corporate and other Special Interest groups are trying to buy the election. Each Democrat who has contributed to a candidate has already voted with his wallet and those are real votes. Republican money is plentiful, not transparent as to who the donors are, and will now be misdirected to the MUTE button on the nearest TV Controller.
There is one last thing very odd here. It comes as no news that the Republican Party is badly split. The gulf between Conservative Republicans and tea party Republicans is quite wide. This split has dead-locked the U.S. House of Representatives and now has the Senate Republicans fighting with the House Republicans. The result is that Republicans have virtually shut down the legislative process, the budgeting process, and the regulation process. Government is only operating right now in America because Obama is leading us forward without Congressional help and often has to battle Congressional hindrance.
Note that Congressional Approval ratings are down to 11-13% depending upon what poll you read and that the anger of voters against Congress is going to translate into Congressional house cleaning. This house cleaning must be directed against Republican incumbents by the Republican voters themselves as they try to clean up their Party and break the grid-lock. Democrats cannot do this job for the Republicans they must do it themselves. As a result hey have put a lot of incumbent candidates left swinging in the breeze and could very well loose the House and a few Senate seats too as a result.
Increasingly this story will take on focus as summer ends, fall arrives, and new voter polls provide a snap-shot of the voters and their intentions for Election Day.
Our election cycle and its strange approach to vetting candidates is designed to be a stress test for the candidates. How they manage the trials of the campaign trail is thought to be a valid indicator of how the candidate will do once in office. So far these character trials are not turning out well for Romney and he is falling behind and money won't save him. Public Opinion is developed from much more than just media buys.
I don’t think money is going to be the determinant in the final phases of this campaign. It will revolve around getting out the vote, grass-roots excitement for candidates, and the quality of the programs being advocated for the future. When it comes to Guns, Gays, and Gynecology the Republican Party has tired themes of little interest to voters. As some say: “Been there; done that; and I’m not interested in going backwards again.” Now people are watching the candidates under fire n order to gauge their worth.